The By Farr is a lovely perfumed, yet subtle expression of viognier. Fresh peach and apricot flavours as a young wine, which will intensify over time. The palate is restrained, luscious and shows a ginger-flavoured freshness with underlying power and a lingering aftertaste. Will benefit beautifully from 12 months of bottle ageing, as the acid softens.
The By Farr viognier consists of a blend of fruit from two vineyards. The first is the original house block, planted in 1994, which is friable red soil over limestone leading to sandstone—similar soils to the Sangreal pinot noir and By Farr chardonnay. The second vineyard is a younger planting of unknown clones in red ironstone soil. The viognier is a difficult variety to manage as it has a tendency to grow horizontally rather than vertically, needs a lot of water and can become sunburnt very easily. As a result the fruit has been picked earlier in the past few years to retain its natural acidity.
Viognier is foot stomped and left for two or more hours on its skins to extract the phenols, flavour and texture. The fruit is then pressed, cooled and put straight into barrel with all solids for a natural fermentation. Gentle stirring during the end of autumn encourages malolactic fermentation, which softens the finish by converting the tart malic acid to lactic acid. The wine is then racked, fined and filtered. It is ready to be bottled 11 months after harvest.